Who We Are

We sold our home in June, 2007, and spent the next 7 1/2 years traveling full time in a Cross Roads Fifth Wheel. (We had been traveling during our summers for several years before going full time.) We loved the full-time lifestyle! Each summer we spent a month or two volunteering in State Parks, first in Indiana at McCormick's Creek State Park, near our family, then in later years as the grandchildren got older, at the Bluewater Lake State Park in New Mexico. We spent 6 months each winter at Cactus Gardens RV Resort in Yuma, AZ, where I worked mornings in the park office. The remaining months were spent on the road, seeing this great country of ours. Our favorite places are our National Parks. Anita loved photography and the freedom of digital photography, taking sometimes hundreds of photos in a day. We hiked as much as our legs will allow. We also really enjoyed square and round dancing as we travel across country, and meeting all the wonderful people who dance and/or travel.

But as in all things, there comes a time for change, and we decided it was time to create roots once more. In the fall of 2014, we purchased a home in Cactus Gardens, and in the spring of 2015, sold the 5th wheel. Anita also retired in the spring. We will continue to travel each summer, but for a shorter period of time. We hope to continue blogging about those trips, but it will obviously be on a more limited basis than in the past.

Please explore our past posts if you are interested in traveling this great country. You'll find an index in the left column. We hope you enjoy our blog, and appreciate all comments

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Driving on the Coronado Trail

Over 450 years ago, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado took 1400 men on a fantastic trip through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas seeking the fabled Seven Golden Cities of Cibola.  Although he never found his cities, his exploration established much of Spain’s later claim to the huge Southwest.Capture6

Today, the official Coronado Trail Scenic Byway runs from Clifton, AZ to Springerville, AZ.

We asked square dance friends, Ron and Kay Henderson, to accompany us as we drove much of the byway’s length, from Clifton, AZ to Alpine, AZ.





IMG_2226Ron worked for the Forestry Department for years and is a “walking history tome”.  He gave us a running commentary throughout the drive, adding background to the fabulous scenery.



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The town of Clifton (derived from Cliff Town, appropriately) was founded in the 1870’s  The nearby river water was necessary to the copper smelters serving the mines.  Although Clifton remains, most of the original Main Street is boarded up.

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Next town northward is Morenci, North America’s leading copper producer.  The mine, which seems to stretch on for miles, boggles the imagination.  In recent years, it has produced more than 1 billion pounds of copper annually.

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The trucks working in this mine have tires that are 10 feet in diameter, and the trucks appear too tiny in this photo to discern. 

Beyond Morenci, the road ascends in elevation rapidly.There is a 6,000-foot change of elevation, starting from the topography of the Upper Sonoran Desert to near-alpine meadows high in the White Mountains.The road, in less than 100 miles carries you through changes in climate, soil, moisture and elevation the same as you would see on a road trip from Mexico to Canada!

IMG_2049 [50%] This is not a road to be traversed swiftly.  The Federal Highway Administration considers this drive to be the curviest road in the nation. There are nearly 450 switchbacks, (many marked at 10 mph) along the route.  Nearly each curve, though, affords a wonderful view.  Here’s a view of the road ahead through the side window.







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We stopped to take in the view at Blue Vista overlook, perched on the edge of the Mogollon Rim. 

The Rim rises 4,000 feet from the valley below.







IMG_2123 [50%]In the midst of the Ponderosa pines and alligator juniper of the high elevations, we stopped for a picnic lunch.








IMG_2166 [50%]Shortly thereafter, we were amazed to see snow laying alongside the road and in the shade of the forests.  Ron just had to stop and hold the snow.  It’s not often anymore that we see snow!







IMG_2239 [50%]Ron Henderson writes many historical papers about the area, particularly about almost forgotten cemeteries.  We stopped at one such cemetery on the way back, almost hidden in the grass. IMG_2234 [50%]








We left Silver City at 8 a.m. and arrived back, tired, at 6:30 p.m., but what a drive we had experienced. 

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Exploring on the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway


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IMG_1540 [50%]On Sunday, we decided to go for a drive over the Mimbres Mountains.  Highway 152 stretches 89 miles between the two towns, but we were told to allow at least 2 hours driving time, due to the many curves and steep grades.  Stopping often for photos and to look around, we took that long just to drive the 60 miles  or so to Kingston.

At the town of  San Lorenzo in the Mimbres River Valley, the highway becomes part of the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway.

IMG_1651 [50%]As you drive, always climbing, you leave behind the gentle slopes of juniper, cedar and scrub oak, and entering a rocky mountain terrain dotted with towering pines overshadowing the road.





IMG_1736 [50%]  At the crest of the mountain range is Emory Pass, at an elevation of 8,828 feet. IMG_1667 [50%] The pass was named in honor of Lt. W. H. Emory who passed by here with the Army of the West in 1842.  His report is the earliest scientific account of the region, then a part of Mexico.  A narrow road leads up to a viewpoint, affording a panoramic view of the valley below, including Caballo Lake, more than 50 miles away.


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Dropping nearly 3000 feet during the next 9 miles, the road leads to Kingston, another  town of the 18IMG_1697 [50%]80s, with a reputation for wild and wooly ways.  A booming silver mining town of more than 7,000, Kingston died as suddenly as it had been born, when the depression of 1893 sent silver prices plummeting.   Not much is left of Kingston today.

We decided to turn around at Kingston, and head back for Silver City.


We had our “tailgate lunch” at a pull-off, then discovered we were at the entrance to a cemetery, almost hidden in the trees and grass.  Unlike any cemetery we’ve ever seen, this one is laid out in a most haphazard manner, with little fenced in plots dotting the hillside.

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From the very old… 

                  ……to the simplest…….IMG_1716 [50%]









IMG_1714 [50%]…to the elaborate….IMG_1712 [50%]

                                            ….and the modern…. ,

this cemetery has to be the most unusual we’ve visited.






The return trip over the mountains was equally scenic.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tyrone Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering

After setting up at the campground,we decided to explore some of the many shops in downtown Silver City.  Walking the main street of Silver City is like taking a step back in time.

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While walking, we happened upon a poster:

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Tyrone, now considered a ghost town, was a well-financed company mining town devastated by earlier downturns in the copper industry and later by an open-pit mine that razed the town site.  All that remains of the site now is a residential community, containing only homes, a post office and a community center.

We decided to drive the five miles to Tyrone to the event.

We were so glad we did.  The entertainment was excellent, from the western songs to the humorous poetry selections.  We stayed through the afternoon, and wished we had gotten there earlier in the day.

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Rose Valley RV Ranch, Silver City, NM


Our 30th Wedding Anniversary was on April 27.  We chose Silver City as our destination.  We moved to Silver City on Saturday.  We had not stayed at the Rose Valley RV Ranch on the edge of town before, but found it to be a nice park, nestled in a small valley.  The western theme is carried throughout, in the buildings, the antique farm implements, and even to naming of the roads.  

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IMG_1781 IMG_2246 [50%]Each  site has it’s own little privacy fence.    Wildflowers abound, especially the white primroses, so pretty in the early morning, but gone by 10 a.m.




Set off the main road, the only sounds were that of the songbirds.  We even had a walking area in a field on the property. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fort Bowie and Apache Spring, AZ

IMG_1135 [50%] Prehistoric man discovered Apache Spring  in southeasthern Arizona and built their settlements of pit houses nearby, so that they might have access to the pure, cold water of the spring, the only water in miles.

IMG_1119b.TIF [50%]In the 16th century, the Chiricahua Apaches, drifting southwest from the Great Plains, found the spring also,  and made it the center of their new homeland.

Their homes were called “wickiups”, and they were a tribe of both hunters and growers. 

Being one of the only reliable sources of water in the desert surroundings, it was only natural that the spring played a huge part in planning a route as the white men began to IMG_1145b.TIF [50%] journey westward in search of California gold.  The route would pass by Apache Spring, where thirsty travelers could replenish their water supplies, and then westward over Apache Pass.

IMG_7057 [50%]Before two many years had passed, the route was being heavily traveled, and had become a mail route, as well as a stagecoach route.  John Butterfield erected a way station nearby.


Cochise, chief of the Chiricahuas, watched with trepidation as the white man encroached on his hunting grounds with increasing frequency.

 Hostility came to a head when a young, inexperienced Lieutenant accused Cochise of kidnapping a white child.  To add insult to injury, Cochise, his brother and two nephews were seized, to be held as hostage until the child’s return.  Cochise alone escaped, and led a retaliation against the whites with the hopes of freeing his family.

It was not to be.  His family was hanged, and thus began the conflict that would last for more than a decade.

IMG_1195 [50%]Eventually, in 1862, Fort Bowie was established to protect travelers.  Two years later, a second Fort Bowie, with more comfortable accommodations was started.  It was completed 5 years later. 

IMG_1238 [50%]The war between the natives and the whites continued until 1886, when the last of the   Chiricahua Apaches were exiled to Florida.  After more than 30 years, the whites had triumphed.

All that remains of the fort now are a few ruins, a tribute to the struggle between a native people, defending their homeland, and the white man, struggling to expand his horizons.

Fort Bowie today is accessible by a mile and a half hike into the mountains.  Join us as we hike into Fort Bowie.  

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pima Air and Space Museum

IMG_0766 [35%] For years, Ron has wanted to stop in Tucson at the Pima Air and Space Museum.  Hoyt liked the idea also, so we made it our destination of choice on Tuesday of our week with Hoyt and Bernice.

The facility is so large, containing over 300 aircraft plus displays, that it took us all day to tour it.

Most of the planes are outdoors.  We were able to board the U S Air Force One used by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.IMG_0771 [50%]

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It did not have the feel of luxury you would expect in a Presidential aircraft, and we wondered how it would compare with today’s US Air Force One.



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There are many hangars on the grounds, displaying aircraft and related materials.

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IMG_0939 [50%] Here, a Veteran who volunteers in the museum tells Bernice what it was like to fly on a bomber in the war.




The number of aircraft, sizes, and shapes is amazing.  Here are some of the more unusual ones:Slideshow link [50%]